The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 26, Number 3, January 15, 2023, Article 10


In his Coin Update blog, Dennis Tucker announced that the current Redbook editor Jeff Garrett is now a Kentucky Colonel. Congratulations! -Editor

From-the-Colonels-Desk_2023-01-12_Lexington-Summit-2022_Jeff-Garrett I'm pleased to devote my first From the Colonel's Desk column of 2023 to a longtime friend and one of the newest members of the ranks of Kentucky Colonels: professional numismatist Jeff C. Garrett.

Quoting from the Governor's Office, The highest honor awarded by the Commonwealth of Kentucky is that of Kentucky Colonel. The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels further defines the award as recognition of an individual's noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to our community, state, and nation.

I recommended Jeff's commission last fall to Governor Andy Beshear. He was granted the governor's official letters patent as a Kentucky Colonel on October 4, 2022.

If you're a coin collector in the United States, you probably already know Jeff Garrett, or at least you've seen his name in a hobby newspaper or magazine, or online, or on the front cover of the Guide Book of United States Coins. Here are some biographical details I shared in my nomination:

Jeff Garrett, founder of Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries in Lexington, Kentucky, is widely regarded as one of the nation's top experts in U.S. coinage. Knowledge and education are the foundations of Jeff's numismatic career. As a recognized expert among experts, he regularly gives numismatic advice to many of the nation's largest coin dealers, publishers, museums, and institutions.

Jeff serves as an important consultant to the Smithsonian Institution's National Numismatic Collection. He advises the Smithsonian on funding, exhibits, conservation, and research, and has spearheaded many fundraising and publicity programs that have raised millions of dollars. Thanks to his work, the NNC's holdings have been exhibited to millions of Americans in Washington, D.C., and in traveling displays. (The Smithsonian is estimated to welcome 10 million visitors annually, and Jeff was instrumental in getting a new permanent Gallery of Numismatics opened on the main floor of the National Museum of American History in 2015.)

Also on the national level, Jeff has served as a governor of the congressionally chartered American Numismatic Association, and as its president from 2015 to 2017. He has been a member of the prestigious Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) since 1982, and has held its office of president.

Jeff's presence is well known in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He founded Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries in Lexington in 1984. The firm has been in the same location for more than 30 years. He started the Bluegrass Coin Club, one of the region's most active numismatic groups, in 1994. With more than 45 years of professional experience, he has personally bought and sold nearly every type, variety, and date of U.S. coin ever minted. His companies combined have annual sales in rare coins and precious metals of more than $25 million.

Jeff Garrett has authored and coauthored many numismatic books, including the award-winning Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins, 1795–1933; the popular 100 Greatest U.S. Coins (now in its fifth edition); and United States Coinage: A Study By Type. He is Senior Editor of the Guide Book of United States Coins, the best-selling coin book of all time (with more than 25 million copies sold since 1946). In July of 2022, he hosted a numismatic Editorial Summit in Lexington with Whitman Publishing president Mary Burleson, publisher (and Kentucky Colonel) Dennis Tucker, and senior editor Diana Plattner.

To read the complete article, see:
From the Colonel's Desk: Introducing Colonel Jeff Garrett (

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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